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Theories and Methods of Middle East and Islamic Studies 2

Vak
2018-2019

Note: the first meeting for this course will take place on Friday, September 7, 12-13 hs, in Vriesh2/004. Presence of students of both Theories and Methods of Middle East and Islamic Studies 1 and Theories and Methods of Middle East and Islamic Studies 2 is required.

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies or the MA International Relations is required. Students of the MA Middle Eastern Studies have priority. Students from other MA programmes can only be admitted if there are places left. Students from other programmes interested in taking this course are kindly requested to contact student advisor, Dr. Nicole van Os, or Dr. C.J.V. Henderson, if you are interested in taking this course but NOT a student of one of the above-mentioned MA programmes. See also under registration below.

Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the theoretical foundations, methodological debates, and methods engaged in Middle East studies. This course has two central aims. The first aim is to encourage students to think about broad questions related to epistemology, ontology and methodology in relation to the design of their own thesis projects in particular, and research on the Middle East more broadly. The second aim is to train students in the research design process. In addition to preparing them for their own research, the research methods course exposes students to methodological debates and approaches in order to help them develop the ability to critically assess academic work. Crucially, the course encourages students to engage and confront the methodological challenges which arise in a multidisciplinary context and think constructively on the historical evolution and trajectory of research on the Middle East.

Course objectives

Graduates of the programme will have attained the following learning outcomes:

  • Understand epistemological, ontological, and methodological divides and issues in research on the Middle East

  • Write and present clear research questions and summaries

  • Learn how to design an effective and feasible research project that contributes to studies on the Middle East

  • Understand epistemological, ontological, and methodological divides and issues in research on the Middle East
    • Recognize appropriate methods for diverse research projects
    • Utilise ontological and methodological debates in critiquing research on the Middle East

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars: 30 hours

  • Reading / studying material: 125 hours

  • Completing assignments: 125 hours

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to the blackboard through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Engagement: Participation 40%: 10%
Research Question Workshop 10%
Method Selection Workshop 20%
Short Reaction Papers 20%
Final Paper 40%

Final Paper
The final paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.

Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late papers will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.

The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

(The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)

Resit

Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (40%). In that case the convener of the course will assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.

A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.

Exam review

Students can review their papers and the method of marking. How and when a review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results (in BB) at the latest

Blackboard

Blackboard.

Reading list

REQUIRED TEXTS

  1. Edward Said. Orientalism. 1977.
  2. Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East, Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010
  3. Alan Bryman, Social Research Methods 4th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012
  4. Other course readings are available in electronic format through the library catalogue or online.

Registration

Students of the MA Middle Eastern Studies and the MA International Relations are required to register through uSis before August 15. Students from these programmes who cannot register in uSis, and interested students from other MA programmes are requested to send an email to the student advisor, Dr. Nicole van Os, including their name, student ID number, course title and prospectus or catalog number. Depending on the availability of places, the student advisor will register these students after August 15. By September 1 at the latest the student will be able to see in uSis whether (s)he is registered or not.

To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. C.J.V. Henderson

Remarks

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.